Book Plunge for Fun: Casino Royale

What do I think of Ian Fleming’s classic work? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My first major experience I remember with James Bond was Goldeneye. I had seen bits and pieces of movies at home, but my Dad and I went to see this one together in the theaters. It’s one reason that for me that Pierce Brosnan will always be James Bond. Naturally as a gamer, I played Goldeneye regularly on the 64 and even my youth group would come over and we’ve have gaming sessions. My older brother-in-law even got me together with two of his other friends for us to play all day long once. I was easily the youngest there, but thoroughly enjoyed myself.

My boss at the campus post office is a big James Bond fan and I don’t remember how it got started, but we were talking about Bond and I didn’t know he was such a fan. He let me borrow a copy of Casino Royale, the book that started it all. I had decided I would read a chapter a day or so. That would work fine.

Except it didn’t.

This was a book it was easy to read 100 pages a day. Bond is a fascinating figure to read about. As I think about it now also, you don’t have to have a lot of specialty knowledge in weaponry to understand it. The gun is a gun. Sure, he tells you what kind it is, but all I know is that it is a gun.

What is most fascinating is not really the action actually, but the way Bond works. It’s not the exterior of Bond that is the real draw. It’s the interior of Bond. It’s trying to get into his personality and see how he thinks. This is a man who wants to do what is good, but if he has to kill someone, well he has to kill them and oh well. He does it. It’s his job.

We can wonder about his attitude with that and my first inclination is to wonder if he is a sociopath, but he isn’t. It’s interesting to think of the contrast of James Bond as a playboy figure having alcoholic beverages, smoking cigarettes, gambling, sleeping with every woman he can, and yet being thoroughly dedicated to his craft as a spy and to the cause of his country.

The most intriguing one in this one, and I can’t say too much without spoiling it, is Bond’s relationship with women as he tends to keep them at a distance. As Bond is shown to think early in the book, women are just there for pleasure. He has the whole pattern set of how his relationships with women work and yet in the book, that pattern doesn’t seem to hold.

I really wish I could say more on that, but I can’t. I think I would spoil something if I say more and right now, I already wonder if I have spoiled something. I can say that this book is hard to put down when you get into it, and it does deliver. I’m still thinking regularly about what I read. If you are a Bond fan, you really do owe it to yourself to give the book a try.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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